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Dormant hotels trying to lure buyers

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Dormant hotels trying to lure buyers

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TOURISM MIGHT BE booming but several of Barbados’ dormant hotels are not feeling the love.

BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY confirmed that several closed properties – including Silver Sands Hotel, Caribbee Hotel, and Tropical Escape Hotel – have chopped millions of dollars off their sale prices in an attempt to find buyers.

But as these properties have been off the market for several years, any new owner would likely have to spend millions of dollars on restoration.

This development comes at a time real estate company Terra Caribbean is suggesting that with long-stay visitor arrivals increasing in the last two years, “investors may consider hotel accommodation as an area to enter”.

The 130-room Silver Sands Hotel in Christ Church has not been operating since September 2010. It’s closure cost 120 Barbadians their jobs and the property was put up for sale for $46 million. That price has now been reduced to $30 million and the sale offer circulating from various real estate companies is tagged “in need of restoration”.

The once popular Caribbee Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church is another property that has not been counted in available room stock for some time. The 55 room hotel was being offered for $22 million but is now on sale for $14 million.

“Caribbee Hotel and adjoining land are being sold as commercial property offering a wonderful opportunity to expand the hotel or to undergo entirely new development,” the south coast property’s sale offer stated.

As for the 58-room Tropical Escape Hotel, located in St James, it is being sold for $14 million, down from $20 million. The three-storey hotel and beach bar facility “is not up and running and needs restoration”, realtors said.

And the historic Villa Nova Great House in St. John, which was once on offer for $24 million, is now trying to tempt buyers willing to spend $20 million.

In 2013, Silver Sands Hotel was earmarked to be purchased by Government, but this never materialised and authorities have since turned their attention to restoring the historic Sam Lord’s Castle.

In the new edition of its annual publication The Red Book, Terra Caribbean, pointed out “there has been a decrease in the supply of rooms over the last 15 years”,

“The closure of the three Almond Resorts properties back in 2012 accounted for much of the reduction of room supply from 5 354 to 4 918 rooms in 2013. At the beginning of 2016, we saw some upward movement as several properties which were closed between 2011 and 2015 are presently back in operation,” it said.

“Presently, there are a few hotels that are being marketed for sale and are currently removed from the supply stock of rooms. With long-stay visitor totals for the year at 520 894 for 2014 and 592 302 for 2015, and similar projected growth for 2016, investors may consider hotel accommodation as an area to enter.”

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